This last week I have been trialing an oestrogen transdermal patch to get my hot flushes under control. Honestly, I’ve never experienced anything like it. Like clock work, from 6pm, my body would turn into a furnace. Sometimes, it was just random parts of my body, like I would notice my shins sweating, or my head sweating or just my eyebrows. Other times it was an all over body experience like somehow I had started orbiting far too close to the sun.
If I’m honest I had my concerns about beginning Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). It is known to have side effects including weight gain and playing with your emotions which I wasn’t keen on. It can also leave you at a higher risk of DVT, especially being on chemo. But at 34 and having been thrust into menopause, the hot flushes and night sweats were severe and I had to do something. I’ve had the fans on 24/7 since coming home from hospital and sharing a bed has been dicey at times because having someone else’s body heat near mine is exhausting.
I had doubts about the patch. I wasn’t sure it would even stick let a lone do its job. You put the patch on your tummy or your butt and leave it there for seven days. After four months of wound dressings plus the ileostomy bag, plus the tape that holds the needle in for my chemo pump, I really didn’t want more sticky stuff on my body but I decided to give it a go.
I wondered how long it would take to know if it was working. The answer: relatively quickly. I applied the patch on Tuesday and on Thursday I found myself pleasantly surprised. For the first time in 4 months, I actually felt cold. I was sitting on the couch wondering why my skin felt weird. I was scared at first that something was wrong because it was such an odd sensation Then I realised I was cold. Not just that but that my skin was cold. It felt so good. I have not been cold since being in hospital.
We’re back around to Tuesday so it’s time time for a new patch. Last night I experienced hot flushes for the first time in a week which was a great reminder that it’s time to change it. We will see how I’ve gone after a month and then most likely check back in with the GP but so far, so good!